Ed Levine's Serious Diet »

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 123: Why Does Making a Salad Seem So Hard Sometimes?

"How else can I more easily incorporate more vegetables and salads into my serious diet?"

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

I'm down with the "eat more salads and vegetables program." Here's the problem.

Somehow when I come home at 8:30 p.m. after a long day at world headquarters, the task of making a tasty vegetable dish, like a salad, seems like an onerous one, something I just can't seem to wrap my head around. I know it's the right thing to do, but I just have a hard time doing it.

In these last couple of weeks I've tried it, believe me, I have. Because I know if I can combine eating more salads and vegetables with my continued portion control discipline that I have a far better chance of losing the last twenty pounds or at least some significant portion of it.

Let's consider last weekend. The folks at Fresh Direct also delivered some vegetables and lettuce to our office as samples of their new emphasis on local foods, which I then took home. I also went to the farmers' market in my neighborhood on Sunday to buy some wonderful wife some flowers for her birthday (I ended up with the most beautiful and fragrant lilies). So I was well-positioned this past week to eat more vegetables and salads. What happened?

Well, all week I would get home and just not feel like putting in the time and the effort to cook the vegetables or wash and shred the lettuce or make a vinaigrette. So I would end up having two toasted mini-bagel halves with Alpine Lace American cheese or two slices of pizza from my local coal-fired brick oven mini-chain, Patsy's. Patsy's slices have less than half of the calories of a regular New York slice, because they have far less cheese and much lighter crust.

So there you have it. And though I'm not going to weigh in today (I'm on the road) my interim weigh-ins this week have been very promising. Most days this week I was weighing in at 221, so I know my portion control mantra is paying dividends.

I know that if I get into the habit of eating more salads and vegetables both in and outside my house, I will lose more weight, now that I seem to be back in a good portion size place overall. I guess one way to do it in restaurants is to order a salad and two side order vegetables as lunch. Lately I've been eating business lunches at a restaurant in New York, Savoy, that serves many vegetable small plates and salads.

But because they also have one of the city's (and the nation's for that matter) burgers I often order that, eat half, give the other half to my dining companion, and limit myself to six or eight of Savoy's superb french fries. All right, serious eaters, the next time I have a business lunch I'm going to employ the salad and two vegetables tactic.

So help me out, serious eaters. How else can I more easily incorporate more vegetables and salads into my serious diet?

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